Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Chibi World Batrep by Tarot Hunt part 1




Learning to Play by Watching a Game
The heroes descend into the under croft of Grick Hall
The best way to learn a new game is often just to watch someone who already knows how to play. Watching what they do and listening to them explain everything to you, will most definitely give you a real feel for things, so much more than if you just sat and read the rules by your lonesome.
Let me be your guide throughout a simple adventure, as I lead you through a rather dark, damp and dusty little castle, owned by a vile nosferatu who calls himself  “The Skin Stitcher.” I promise I`ll try and keep you safe as we weave our way through the old manor house, and attempt to hunt this vampire down and dispatch him in his lair.
It is still light, the sun shines in the sky >> erm << okay its beginning to sink behind the distant hills, but we still have plenty of time. Stay behind us, but stay close. Don`t wander off or get separated from the party, and you will be safe.
.... I`m Candy by the way! Your narrator for this adventure.
Who exactly is the vampire we are about to face? Good question. Hmmm, let’s see:
He is fairly young for a vampire anyway:  Kessel Von Dara is pretty `newly made,` created by a far more ancient and evil demon; none other than Von Drakk himself. Poor Lord Kessel was bitten less than a year ago, upon a Slayer`s Moon, the Lord was on the trail of an elusive deer in the Glauerdoom Forests, and yet (unbeknownst to him) he was not the only hunter abroad that night: and by the time the Dark Lord Von Drakk was finished `playing` with his prey, there would soon roam another crazed, ever hungry, and soulless monster, left only half alive, to plague the unhappy world.
Lord Kessel Von Dara is the second cousin of Lady Lucarta Von Wilder. The vampire`s young Wilder relative has looked far and wide for her once beloved cousin, intent on finding him, and finally granting him eternal peace. Lucarta has tracked down the fiend to a long deserted mansion – this one. It is indeed a haunted place of great unrest, if only half the local tales be true.
A Paladin, a wandering storyteller and her strange animal companion *Candy strokes her pet a moment* a pretty brave local tavern Cook, and the famous Lady Von Wilder herself. Entering the haunted under crofts of Grick Hall. And all are united in this dire purpose. Enter the Dungeon. Evade or kill anyone who gets in our way. Find the evil lair. Kill the Vampire. Nothing could be simpler!
Heading down the cold stone steps
And so, this is the setting for my simple little tale!
A basic adventure really doesn’t need to be too specific: especially if playing the game solitaire (solo) as I am doing now. I wanted to show you how to play a game of Chibi World. On the fly, on your own, and with everything made up as you play, allowing the A.I. (built into the rules) to determine all the difficult random decisions for me while I just sit back, run my heroes through the story, and watch the adventure unfold.
I am running four heroes through this adventure. But I could easily have made the number just one or two. However, I really wanted to reveal the full dynamics of the rules. 
At the bottom of the steps, standing in front of the huge wooden doors, the party hesitates for just a moment. Allowing their courage to find its sticking place, before proceeding with intrepid hearts and minds.
Let’s just take a quick look at our heroes a moment.

 
Chibi Paladin
Movement - 4, Weapon Attacks - 2D6, Iron - 6, Hits - 20.
Traits - Blessed, Charge, Holy Chant, Holy Power, Luck*, Pure.
*{a special trait that allows you to re-roll an entire dice roll, once per game}
You can’t go far wrong with a Paladin can you. Strong, virtuous, loyal and intensely brave.  He is the ideal front man to take on the mindless hordes, should they indeed appear to trouble the living.
                                                                 Mistress Candy
Travelling far and wide, Candy and Cola search out high adventures; creating a living song to narrate into bardic tale: epic stories for the annuls of history.
Movement 6   -   Weapon Attacks 3D10: Ranged 1D8-7   -   Iron 5   -   Hits 15
Apothecary, Avoid Trap, Dexterity, Luck*, Open.
For the duration of this game: Pet Cola is not represented by a Wonder (separate Miniature). The creature just shares her Mistress`s base. But provides no special bonus to the game}

 
                                                    Marie-Claude Bourbonnais
Originally from the small town of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière up in the Northern Reaches, this cool frying pan and rolling pin wielding, platinum blonde pastry cook, is a little bundle of dynamite.  After her community was savagely destroyed by the walking dead, this woman has sought ceaselessly to forget her dreadful past. Travelling far, she turns to the thing she`s really good at - cooking. However, when Lady Von Wilder came into her local village a few nights ago with talk of hunting down a terrible vampire; Marie-Claude realised she couldn’t hide her head in the sand any longer. Besides which, she really is good at handling herself with a frying pan - in more ways than one.
Movement 6   -   Weapon Attacks 3D14   -   Iron 6   -   Hits 15
Charge.
                                         Lady Lucarta Von Wilding
Generations ago the Von Wildings saw the destruction of their family and a curse put upon their entire line... by the Baron Von Drakk. The family`s fate was meant as a grim warning to any noble family who dared oppose the Baron. Now, sworn to the life of a slayer, successive generations of Von Wilding travel the land searching for clues that will allow them to remove their curse and end Von Drakk`s blighted reign over their homeland.
 (as Von Wilding)
Movement 6   -   Weapon Attacks 2D6   -   Iron 5   -   Hits 13
Restore.

In Shifter Form (Were Form):
Movement 8   -   Weapon Attacks 2D14   -   Iron 6   -   Hits 17
Charge, Knockback, Massive Damage successful Hits cause double damage (Hit X2), Restore.
Shifter: If the Hero is a shape shifter. At the start of any Attacker`s Action Phase, the Shifter may attempt to change into a Were Monster. To Shift, the wielder needs to roll the attack dice (this is not melee, it is just to determine success). A double on any two attack dice means the Chibi has shifted into a Were form. To change back again, simply roll a double as before to reverse the process. Successful shifting replaces all other actions for the turn.
They open the heavy doors and press forward.


I created my dungeon table ahead of time, simply by using the Random Dungeon Layout system described in the Chibi World rulebook. For filling the rooms and chambers with items and `thematic purpose` I turn (as I always do) to my “D30 DM Companion” which is one of the most useful game books I have ever had the pleasure and good fortune to come across. It is simply my gaming bible, and I`d be lost without it. Written by Richard J. LeBlanc, you can find a nicely priced soft bound cover copy from Lulu Publishing or a PDF really cheaply on line at Drivethrurpg.com. This little darling of a book will literally stock your dungeon for you, minimise the amount of time you need to spend planning, and actually allow you much more time to get playing.
Although I knew in advance the layout of my dungeon, I deliberately left the contents unknown to myself. Only when the heroes enter any new section, will I check the D30 DM Companion, and check on the Chibi World Random Monster Table to generate any Monsters that might (or might not) appear. Yes that’s right, as you read this now, I actually have NO ideas what`s round the next corner, or what might happen at any given moment. The experience really is solo gaming in its purist, unadulterated form.
Pressing into the first chamber, the game begins thus:
The heroes sweep into the chamber, taking in the details as swiftly as they can.
First thing I do is set up the room contents. Randomly, using the D30 DM Companion. The results are as shown in the photos
Next, I Roll 3D6 as I check for any Monster encounters in the room, the result of the three dice are: a 1 a 3 and a 5. Not a six is rolled, so no Monsters in here.. not this turn anyway.
A door ahead and on the right hand side stands firmly shut.
A wooden bookcase rests tight up against the right wall. A few dusty old tomes sit upon the shelves. Barrels are stacked close by.
An iron furnace produces little heat in the chilly room, though a small fire does actually burn within. A stone well stands in the middle of the room.

A door ahead and on the left, which was slightly ajar, suddenly slams shut - maybe caused by the heroes opening the huge doors into the complex.
Slow burning torches rest in sconces on the stone walls, and produce low spluttering light and many shadows throughout the chamber. Two wooden chests have been placed on the floor – one close by the book case, a second sits heavy between the two closed doors on the far wall. A rickety set of winding stairs (on the left of the chamber) climbs into the darkness; and seems to vanish into the brick ceiling overhead. A few dusty, deeply rusted ornaments are placed upon a table and a container over by the furnace. In front of the heroes’ feet, there is a very small wooden trap door in the floor. It looks like it is both closed and unbolted. Chairs in front of the table are covered in cobwebs. It looks like no one has sat there for a while.
 
Turn 2 & 3
“Fan out, and be careful. This place is evil.” Lady Lucarta cautioned to her companions. With stealth like that of an animal, she traced a path around all the obstacles in the room and made her way towards the central well.
The Paladin followed the Lady, but more slowly, his stiff old joints were suffering in this terrible chill air. He looked to his right and saw the Bard woman Candy head straight towards the book case. He wrinkled his aged nose in disdain: “nothing good to be found in an evil place like this.” He muttered under his breath.
“I will check this trap door.” The pretty Cook spoke quietly in her clear spoken, yet soft exotic accent.  She studiously ignored the nearby chest sitting on the floor.
Actually, I have a personal house rule I like to use when I`m playing solo. Normally you would be checking before the Attacker`s Action Phase of each and every turn to see if any new Monsters are spawned. But what I do is, when my heroes are alone in a room and exploring, I allow them to take 2 turns (to move about and explore) and only check for Monsters on every third turn. So move and explore once: move and explore twice: and then check for Monsters just before allowing the heroes to move and explore a third turn. Of course, if anyone opens up a new area (opens a door etc) then ignore everything I just said.
Fanning out into the chamber.
Candy sees an old rusty ornament on the large oak table as she makes her way to the book case. The metal thing has a strange shape that looks unwholesome and unpleasing to the eyes.
Lady Lucarta seems fully focussed on the well shaft, and steadily makes her way towards it, her deadly whip raised in front of her and at the ready.
The Paladin follows doggedly behind the Lady, one eye mindfully checking the rickety wooden stairs as he passes close by.
Marie-Claude approached the trap door and squatted down on the floor beside it. She spotted a heavy iron bolt, and pulled it firmly across the bar. Nothing was coming up from that direction. Though for a moment, the Little Cook wondered just what may lie down below. She heard a muffled but steady drip... drip of water in her ears, and she shivered as the darkness from below almost beckoned her to unbolt the trapdoor, and come play!
The trap door!
The bookcase.
Candy scrutinises the book case for any hidden academic delights. Ever mindful of lost treasures just waiting to be discovered by the intrepid adventurer: rescued from oblivion and bought safely to her favourite library in the capitol city of Crystal Home.
I roll 2D6 and throw an 8 on Treasure table 1: and finds 250 gold tucked away inside a small cloth pouch. The bag had been squeezed between two mouldy old books. Also a small bottle containing a single Health Potion. Mmmmm, lucky find.  An 8 also means I get to roll again once on Treasure Table II: I throw a D20 and roll a 14. Wow, how amazingly fortunate:  
Blessed Holy Water and Garlic:
For the duration of this game, no Chibi Vampire can come within 2 squares of a Hero who consumes this garlic.
The Holy Water is a weapon against any form of Undead: Range of 4 squares with a Weapon Attack value of 5D6-4.
Could that have been a better chance find? Wooohoooo!!!!!
Lady Wilder peers over the rim of the well and into the murky depths below. Though this woman is brave beyond measure, she cannot stop the sudden shiver of dread that rises through her body.
{I roll three dice again, but not a single six! No Monsters appear on the proceeding turn}.
The search of the chamber continues.
Turn 4 & 5
The heroes explore again, for the next two turns.
And now things begin to get a little interesting. This is how I resolved the situation within my own game. As there are still no Monsters within this chamber, and the heroes are still obviously still exploring the room pretty thoroughly, I decided to maintain my house rule and allow the heroes to make a double turn. That`s double movement and `explore` (remember you have to be at least adjacent to a space to explore an object within that square). So my heroes all spread out and each did their own thing, as you will see in a moment, but then at the beginning of the third turn, I rolled 3 dice for Monsters and threw two 6`s. Checking on the Random Spawning Table, I got 6 Billmen (my Random Spawn Tables are tailored to my own game preferences, and I do not use the default table shown in the Chibi World rules) and I rolled an Elemental Water Lord on my second roll.
This dungeon didn’t seem to need any of the Super Dungeon Explore spawn points; and instead I made it that wells, trap doors and iron floor grates would act as spawning points in their own right. And I check to place one for any new room of the dungeon if (A) the heroes open a door to a new room or (B) Monsters need to spawn due to a random roll. This room by default already has a well and a trap door in it. But I also decided here to check the door in the far wall on the left to see if there was also a spawning place beyond that door as well.
A roll of 4, 5 or 6 on a D6 indicates yes there is a spawn point in the next chamber. The roll is a 4, so YES. Now I have three choices for these Monsters to appear from, and so I decide to do it randomly.
1, 2 the well: 3, 4 the trap door near the dungeon entrance: 5, 6 a trap door or grill/grate within the next chamber.
First I check for the Elemental Water Lord, and I rolled a 2. So with a gushing gurgling sound, like a tidal flash flood from a sink hole, a Water Elemental of gigantic proportions rushes up, out of the well and attacks.....  well we`ll come to that in a minute. For the Billmen I threw a 5. Right, so we know they will be appearing out of a floor grate in the next room.
Now to back track a moment. On the two turns previously the heroes explored the room they are in. On the beginning of the third turn, THEN we begin to place Monsters and we will also need check for turn initiative as well.
Now, let us backtrack a moment to the point where the heroes are exploring.
Lady Lucarta Von Wilder moved as gracefully as she was silent across the chamber to the portal on the far left hand side, and stood listening for any sounds on the other side. This was the door which has slammed shut only minutes earlier when they had entered the dungeon. The Paladin followed behind her and stood back a little to give her space.
Candy skipped over to the door on the far wall parallel to the one Lady Lucarta was listening at, and listened at her door as well. Marie-Claude followed Candy at a discrete distance behind her. When she got to the barrels lined up along the wall she turned her head slightly and sniffed the air.. uugh, Sour! The Cook had worked enough tavern kitchens to know the taint of bad wine when she smelt it. This stuff here was rancid vinegar to her nose, and probably highly unhealthy for any stomach even to sip at.
Lady Lucarta Von Wilder listens at the door.
Candy listens at the door. Marie-Claude sniffs the air and smells bad wine coming from the barrels.
Candy listens at the door but hears nothing. Cola pet sucks on a fizzy sweet.
All of a sudden, the room erupts into a whirl of motion. From the well a rushing gurgling noise funnels up the shaft, and a huge bout of water shoots up and out of the hole in the floor, and rapidly begins to take shape. A gigantic Elemental Water Lord is in their midst, right amongst the heroes! It looks for the nearest intruder in its home... decides momentarily between the Paladin and the Cook, then rushes, like a tsunami, towards Marie-Claude. The woman just has time to turn to face the Monster before it is upon her.
Simultaneously, Monstrous frog like creatures in rusty plate armour pour up out of a grate in the floor from behind the portal Lady Von Wilder is listening at. They assemble then run down the passage towards the door. Lady Von Wilder tenses when she hears the many, many rapidly approaching feet. Over her shoulder to the Paladin she whispers fiercely:
“Prepare yourself, Knight. We have company.. lots.”
The Paladin immediately takes up a squat defensive stance: “Then lots will die!” He cries, fearlessly unperturbed.
And now we are at the stage where we need to check who wins the initiative for the next turn. Will it be the Frog like Bill Men, crashing open the door in front of the startled Van Wilder... while the Elemental tears into Marie-Claude, barely giving her time to react. Or will the heroes win the round and get to act first? This next turn is important to both sides. Both need to win the round and act before the other.
Six monsters pour out of the floor grille. Who will win the next turn initiative?
Turn 6
Both sides throw a D20 to see who wins initiative: the Heroes roll a 12, and the Monsters roll a 19.
The Monsters win the Attackers Action Phase for this turn.
WOW!! the Elemental Water Lord rolls 7 attack dice and achieves:  a 1, two 5`s, and four 6`s. Out of seven attacks that’s an impressive six hits. Now let’s see if any of those hits can put a dent in Marie-Claude`s Iron value of 6. She`s a real tough cookie that girl. Rolling the six successes again, the Elemental Water Lord manages two 2`s, a 4, two 5`s and two 6`s. That’s two palpable wounds on Marie-Claude. Bringing her down from her starting total of 15, to a current Hit value of 13 points. That stung her alright, but she brushes off the pain with practised ease.
The Water Elemental slams into her like a fist, for a moment almost knocking the girl off her feet. But the little cook weathers the onslaught and stands defiantly before her foe.
Over in front of Lady Von Wilder, the dungeon door is flung open and a wave of green skinned frog men try to rush in and attack. But the woman has positioned herself in front of the portal and almost totally blocks easy access into the room, ensuring that only one Billman at a time can come at her with its nasty looking pole axe. The lead most creature lunges with its single attack: but it possesses the Trait Pack, which means it gets one additional die for each other of its kind adjacent to it. Two Billmen stand adjacent to the attacking frog, and so it rolls 3 attack dice in combat against the woman standing boldly in its path. Two 4`s and a 5: so one successful blow finds its mark. We reroll that success and score a 5, which inflicts a single wound on Lady Von Wilder, bringing her start total of 13 down to 12 Hits. The Monsters attack phase is over. Now it is the heroes chance to respond in their Defender`s Shooting Phase {incidentally, I am using the Super Dungeon Explore optional rule which allows Defenders to move, but not take any other actions, during this phase if they wish to}
The Paladin moves as close as he can towards the Elemental. But remember he can`t move adjacent during this optional defender`s movement phase. He moves as close as he can, hoping the heroes win initiative next turn and can come to Marie-Claude`s assistance. Marie-Claude herself swings her rolling pin and batters the watery Monster in a sweeping double barrel attack with her frying pan. She can`t use her Charge Trait as she is already adjacent, but she does get to roll her standard 3D14 attack roll. 13, 13, and a 7: that’s three solid successes so far (remember a 5 or a 6 always lands the initial blow). And again to see how many of those hit.... 9, 12, and a 13. Three hits woohooo!!  Bringing the Elemental down from 7 to 4 remaining Hit Points.
I really do love using the Degree System and getting to roll these nifty unique dice.... D14`s, D16`s, and D18`s: it feels so special somehow. Marie-Claude`s starting character kit of 3D14 Combat Attack Dice really does makes her a little power house in melee.
Von Wilder is not quite so lucky, and in her (non werewolf) human form, gets to attack with her somewhat lesser 2D6. She rolls a 1 and a 4. That`s simply not enough to land a hit on the leading Frog Billman.
Candy pulls away from the door she is listening at and rushes over to Marie-Claude`s aid. Getting as close as she is allowed during her movement phase.
Turn 7
Initiative: Heroes roll 17: Monsters roll 9. The Heroes lead the turn.
The Paladin uses Charge and slams into the Elemental for a free full dice attack of 2D6. Scoring a 3 and a 4: uuugh!!! Candy rushes in too, and places herself beside Marie-Claude, toe to toe with the Monster.
Von Wilder can feel the rage starting to build within her, and closes her eyes a second to focus on speeding up the wild changing process happening to her body. Rolling her 2D6 attack dice she rolls a double... bingo! She successfully manages to become a Were. Good, this means we now replace Lady Von Wilder with her Werewolf miniature; effectively making her much more powerful in melee.
{{Note that Von Wilder does not have the Lycanthrope Trait, her ability to change to and from a Were is purely dependent upon rolling a double on the attack dice (which we check for, even if we don’t want to, at the beginning of each turn}}.
Von Wilder, now in Shape Shift Were-Monster form, cannot use Restore this turn, but that’s not a problem for her anyway. What she does now have in her arsenal is a Combat Attack of 2D14, Knock-Back and Massive Damage . Moving on smoothly to the melee phase, let’s start with this Lady shall we!
That`s a 2 dice attack,  Massive Damage, and a Knock Back (slamming the frog to a bloody pulp, due to the impeding ranks of its kin hemming it in from behind). The first Billman is removed from the fight.
I decide to play Dungeon Master (or Chibi Master as it is called here) and think about things for a moment. What would the Monsters actually do now? They are not excessively brave these creatures, especially as they not being led by anyone, or anything, of especial worthy note at the moment. They have just seen their foe transform into a massive werewolf, then tear and rend the front most of their kin into a bleeding mass of pulp, and then almost disdainfully, with contemptible ease, swat the creature with a thud of (already well and truly broken) bones, back into a wall of other frogs. What might these Monsters do next I wonder?
The choice was really pretty obvious to me. They would turn tail and flee; that’s what they would do next! Now, you will not find any of this in the rules, but I find, especially when playing solo, the thematic approach is very often the best one to take.
The combined attacks of Candy 3D10, Marie-Claude 3D14, and the Paladin`s 2D6 plus his Holy Chant (providing the heroes each with an additional attack die) was more than enough to destroy the evil Elemental Water Lord. Unable to hold its own cohesion any longer once the chaotic spirit was driven out, the thing dissolved onto the floor with a loud watery splosh!
The heroes unite to destroy the Elemental.
Suddenly, the coast is clear again, and all is still, except for the sounds of running feet as the frog men retire deeper into the dungeon.
Turns 8, 9, 10, and 11.
Not a single Random Monster materialises at the beginning of these turns, leaving the heroes free to explore the next corridor and the chamber beyond. It looks like some sort of guard room, but its specific purpose could not be accurately ascertained. Von Wilder at the lead wasted no time in thundering towards the next discernible portal. 


Candy managed, as she walked past, to "nab" a book that was lying on the table. She stuffed it into Cola's backpack. She would read that another time.
Looking up, she was just too late to stop Von Wilder reaching for the door ring in front of her.
“Lady Lucarta, NO!!!” But it was too late. With a thunderous explosion, the portal came apart, bursting into a thousand tiny shards of sharp needle like splinters. The fireball alone enveloped the hero and she howled in agony as fire.. and shock.. and pain coursed through her body. Dozens of stakes of wood embedded themselves in the woman`s body and she fell backwards onto the floor.
“.... the door may be trapped!” Candy finished her sentence.
 
{{The door had a “?” Trap on it. And then bad, bad, bad luck rendered a result of a 6 followed by another 6 on the trap chart. The result in the rule book reads: “automatically brings the Hero down to 1 remaining Hit - Ouch!”}}
End of Part 1
As you can see, there is still a long way to go in this mini adventure.
The concluding part will follow next week.
By Tarot Hunt

30 comments:

  1. A lovely start to an exciting adventure. Gives a good feel for the game, although I was thrown by the references to d14's. Looks lice dice technology has moved on since my day! I particularly like the Cook miniature. And I like the scenery too. Can't remember the name of the manufacturer though...
    Can't wait for the next instalment!

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    1. Thank you kindly. hehehe, yes you need to read the rules, they use something called the Impact System. because Impact Miniatures make a set of dice ranging from D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D10 D12 - D14 D16 D18 and upwards all the way to D30. Chibi World utilises this and avoids needing to use +1 +2 +4 etc like you see all the time in most games (which of course, needs to be tracked somehow). Instead you just upgrade the die or dice you use - no book keeping involved. So if a Hero starts out with, lets say, a single D6 in combat (a total weakling): assuming he survives, as he progresses through many games, he will not only end up with (potentially) more dice in combat but the numerical value will also increase. So his D6 might end up as a D8 D10 D12 etc etc as he gets more powerful. No more + 1`s and +2`s and s on. Nice and easy and fun too.

      The terrain is neat isn't it.

      I expect Bryan will do a review of that company and their terrain soon.

      T

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  2. Congratulations, Tarot. This was a GREAT batrep and was very much like the batreps that I write for ATZ and Zombicide. I like to write my batreps with the newbie in mind and so I carefully explain the rules to them and help to guide them through a game. Sometimes even veteran gamers learn something they didn't know or had forgotten about. You have taken this same approach with this batrep and for that I applaud you.

    Your party of heroes was interesting. Candy and Cola are probably my favourite characters from SDE, so I was very pleased to see their inclusion. Marie-Claude is a great figure, so again, a big thumbs up for including her. Funnily enough, you've made Von Wider a female, whereas I always use the figure as a male. He/she does have an androgynous look so fair does. Whenever I have used him/her in SDE he/she has always performed badly. I hope Lady Lucarta fares better for you. Now the Paladin is a mystery man to me. I don't recognise the figure, Also, why is he not named? It seems strange to just call him "The Paladin".

    What truly makes this batrep something special (other than your writing) is the spectacular dungeon terrain. It is from Battle Systems, a company I know very well and whom I greatly admire.

    Job well done, Tarot, and I can't wait for part 2.

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    1. {{{I don't recognise the figure, Also, why is he not named? It seems strange to just call him "The Paladin".}}}


      not naming of the Paladin was a literary trick (I quirk of mine) I learned long ago at college, and comes from the silent `cog` of neo Georgian-esque Pre-Raphaelite movements applied to the novo, and their mechanistic approach to convention. Applied thus to writing, never make everything too obvious: and always leave a thread somewhere that `is asking to be pulled.` Effectively, the non naming of one of the characters was a deliberate affectation, like the Chorus in a Shakespearian play or the a Silent Muse in a Homathiadite Greek tragedy.

      The mini is from Impact Miniatures, and I think is just called "Chibi Paladin" in the catalogue: and sells for £3.45p

      http://impactminiatures.com/index.php?option=chibi_profile&id=CA_PLDN

      I think Von Wilder is ambiguous. is it a he or a she? dunno really. I think it has a very androgynous look, as you say. I think its really up to each person to decide how they want to paint theirs and portray them in their games.

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    2. The Impact Miniatures Paladin figure is based on Braveheart the Paladin, from the AD&D action figure range, released by LJN between 1983 & 1984. I believe I still have him somewhere, probably in the same box as my MOTU action figures. Yes, I'm that old...

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    3. I would be extremely interested to see a photo of that old AD&D figure.

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    4. http://www.toyarchive.com/Dungeons&Dragons/Figures/Strongheart.html

      I misremebered his name - it's actually Strongheart *d'oh*

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  3. PS. I forgot to say, welcome on board the blog as one of our contributors. I have a feeling you are going to attract a lot of fans!

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  4. Well WELL done Tarot. I think you have cracked the formula of how to create the perfect `in game` play through (Battle Report). It draws you into the story, and make you feel part of the action. I`m loving it so far. I want more.

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  5. Really super stuff Tarot hun. Love it in fact. Hey you`re as quirky as me. I really get the non naming of the old pally as well. One of my favourite authors, Mervyn Peake (of Gormennghast fame) originally wanted to avoid naming ANY his characters at all in his Titus Groan novels (as they all represent characteristics and attributes anyway, right: like Avarice, Greed, Jealousy, Patience, Constance, bla bla), but he was finally persuaded against it by his publishers. I love to see it in writing, Stephen King is good at that `quirk` as you call it, and I have used it effectively from time to time as well.

    Dash, darn, excellent work Tar` please, what ever you do, don't stop :)))

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  6. What a fun start, having a shapeshifter as a (anti?)hero....love it!

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  7. Thank you da Gobbo Grotto (I still love that name and like saying it). I really enjoyed writing it. I hope you stay with it and read part 2 next week. Von Wilding is a miniatures from the SDE Von Drakk`s Manor set. But I call her Von Wilder in my story (I will explain why one day, if I ever do a follow up one day, after part 2 of this current tale). Soda Pop gave the miniature a vague but rather sketchily ill defined back story which seems only to exist on the back of a small stat card. It is not even clear if she`s a guy or a girl, but she/he certainly is a shifter, or werewolf. That`s all that is known. Frustrating as heck if, like me, you are used to entire lumps of description and detail on your characters, especially if you are playing a commercially purchased rpg. But at the end of the day it was easy enough to write my own back story for my heroine.

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  8. That is interesting. Hearing you talk, you closely mirror my own thoughts on this one I believe. It seems we both dearly wish Super Dungeon Explore (or Forgotten King, which ever you want to call it) was a little more mature in its theme. It`s hard, when trying to show that chibi gaming is not all just about playing with cute little 2 dimensional cuddlys, when you read the Soda Pop Miniatures back-story of Crystallia: its very hard in fact not just to want to reach for the bucket or at the very kindest, just go “yuuurk” at how twee and badly done and “Andy Pandy” like it all is. Certainly not good for the whole image, when trying to showcase the thing as legitimately sound and thematically immersive and deep. I would be the first to admit (and I WANT to defend it but can`t) that SDE have marketed their target audience as very low age bracket. For certainly the material components, the stat cards and written descriptions (which read as though written as easy reading for a 10 your old), and the `very thin` thematic world filler, is insubstantial to say the least. I cannot pull myself to believe their new forthcoming venture into rpg, with their “Legends” kickstarter will be that much different. Even if they bought out a new 100 page Explorers Handbook, considering the current standard of writing tone, it would hardly stand tall alongside its contemporaries, who produce many amazing 300 and 400 page books crammed full of descriptive background material to enhance your rpg worlds. I live in hope, and we shall see. With your battle report Tarot, playing using a different set of rules, and not tied directly to the Soda Pop world, must have felt refreshing; indeed, the tone was mature and totally different than one might otherwise expect from a chibi like world.. well done and loud applause for managing to pull chibis off the floor and into the realms of worthy adventuring. Anime or Chibi.. let`s call it “Anibi” and combine the two genres.

    You have restored my faith in the genre hehe.


    Hil

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    1. You know Hils, this is very rare, but I`m actually going to counter you here, and oppose your views with an equally strong opposite.

      Your words {{I would be the first to admit (and I WANT to defend it but can`t) that Soda Pop have marketed their target audience as very low age bracket.}}.

      Well, a half decent game host can upgrade any game to make it more mature, macabre, horrific, or action packed suspenseful. It’s just `upping your game` to suit your players` needs; and if doing this to play with a more mature audience is what is required, then that really shouldn`t be difficult to do. I remind you in fact: remember that Alice in Wonderland game I ran? Started out all la la a la laaaa, happy bunny hops and the scent of fresh green meadow. Funny encounters and Cheshire Cats.... remember? Remember how as it got dark and we lit the candles, I started to changed to tone: set the Syrenscape sound effects to extremely disturbing. Remember those clowns draped in blood? The Mad Hatter and his cannibal friends? The White Rabbit who turned out to be that serial killer bumping off all the other characters one by one? Remember how I started that game as a pre Halloween family and friends mini bash..... and how in the end I has all seven of you literally screaming and no one wanting to go upstairs alone, yet you all sat round that table for eight hours and didn’t want the game to end? The rules for that game were a freebie I found on line and printed out. Just a ten page DPF, originally designed to be played by the family as an introduction to role playing games. Well, I just turned up the maturity level and BANG, turned it into a horror romp never to forget!

      So, I think there is no reason why this demonstration should not equally be applied to Super Dungeon Explore and Forgotten King. It’s HOW you play your games that sets the tone, not always the rules themselves. Just like on that really cool TV series that’s been playing recently, where they take old fairy tales and make them so macabre you almost feel like running from the lounge in terror. Super Dungeon games CAN be like this too, if you wish to make it so.

      BUT,

      Sode Pop Miniatures do something else.... something really special. They target their audience low, yes. But this means it is the ideal game to introduce your kids to the joys of gaming: include your wife in a game session or three, or bring to the table for all the family to enjoy. By setting the theme low age doesn’t mean YOU have to stick to that. I good DM should be able to take something like Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel,...anything.... and make it as mature as you want to take it. Or equally, keep it as innocent and as young minded as you wish it.

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    2. How could I resit such true and (when put so clearly) logical counterpoint. I see it and I see the fundamental flaw in my argument. As I think about it even now, I am reminded of a really unusual demonstration game I saw at "Warfare" a few years back, where these guys had painstakingly and lovingly created the castle terrain and scenes from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" everything, down to the last detail, even the dreaded and evil Child Catcher was modelled and included. The table display and game was described as an Imagi-Nation Game wasn`t it, and I remember thinking at the time just how sublimely wonderful it looked to play. There was a big crowd round the table all the time wasn't there.

      Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Hmmmm *shakes head laughing* well if you can turn an Ian Flemming musical into such an infectiously amusing and superbly well done romp that managed to please the crowd all week end, then yes: I concede, Super Dungeon Explore probably deserves far more respect than I have given it credit for.

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  9. But now we have the Chibi World rules, we can do anything! Anything, I tell you!! We have the rules, we have the miniatures, we have a selection of polyhedral dice in various denominations! As Dr. Chibistein would say "Of course I'm a genius! Look at the size of my head!"

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  10. "We have the technology to rebuilt her.... no, them.... it"


    *Bionic Woman Music playing in the background*

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  11. *looks up from assembling and painting a treasured batch of chibis: "Zenko Kitsune" a demon "Oni" and a noble female "Samarai"

    *smiles*

    *looks back to her painting, softly humming to herself "Something Wicked This Way Comes"*

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  12. Hmmm, that should be "Samurai" shouldn't it!

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  13. That depends - if it's actually a female Samurai, then yes. However, if you're referring to the Mexican knock-off of the Mitsubishi Shogun, then 'Samarai' is correct.

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  14. this will be interesting to see how you mix and match the Japanese and Chinese bestiary together within the sole game.

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  15. Actually, I struggled with that for a bit Hil babes. But I have one saving grace: being that it is all fantasy, In the end I just figured, I`d mix and match to suit; cherry picking the bits I want from either camp.

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  16. Good girl.


    That`s what I would do too. Second you start trying to get too serious about fantasy, is the second you`ve really lost the plot.

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  17. Great battle report Tarot. I can't wait to see how the story ends! I particularly liked the photos at the beginning, with just the heroes and scenery which made the focal point of that particular part of the story set against the black background. It really gave a sense of that narrated section at the beginning of a movie. Really clever, I must say!

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  18. Thank you so much Jon, that was really nice of you to comment so favourably: I`m delighted you liked it, and yes, please do stay tuned for the second part on Wednesday.

    The photography you mention actually owes a lot to a personal gaming hero of mine, Bob Murch (from Pulp Figures), who describes the miniatures on the table as `the cast` and the terrain as `the props` and tries to get you to envisage everything in terms of a movie producer making a (film noir) movie. Check out his stuff, the rules are free any everything. If nothing else, his attitude to gaming may inspire you in new directions. I find him inspirational, and a `borrow` heavily from the way he does things.

    Tarot x

    http://pulpfigures.com/downloads/

    http://pulpfigures.com/about_the_pulp_era/

    http://pulpfigures.com/


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    1. Bob's theory certainly works well, and you have applied it expertly, Tarot. I will try to keep the concept in mind for my own photos.

      Thanks for the links. I have been tempted to get some pukp models for a while now. The models seem to exist in a grey area between realistic and cartoony that really appeals to me. I'm going to take the plunge one day, but I should really finish my many other projects before embarking on another...

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    2. Yesssss, that's absolutely it Jon: ""The models seem to exist in a grey area between realistic and cartoony "" that's exactly it. And yes it IS an appealing style isn't it. And oh gosh yes, finish your current projects first; usually not a great idea to flit about between half finished things. But like you, I DO have tentative plans to immerse a bit into Pulp, using Bob Murch figures as the nucleus of my starting collection (I was so lucky, a friend gave me all his old Pulp Figures a while ago, and I plan to put them all to good use).

      Now I`m just torn, once I get started, between whether to use Rugged Heroes or the Pulp Alley rules.

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    3. ..... or you could try my rules. They`re free now as well since I took the original £12:000 price tag off them and made them usable by anyone.

      rules (below)

      http://tabletoptitans.com/rules/0001.php

      an article (below)

      http://tabletoptitans.com/reports/0006.php

      a pulp campaign (below)

      http://tabletoptitans.com/reports/0001.php

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  19. ..... but Bob`s Rugged Adventures are very, VERY good.

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